12 June 2008
I just got back from my morning walk in the neighborhood. Yesterday morning’s jaunt helped me to develop an unpleasant blister on my left heel. Last night as I crawled into bed and reached over to set my alarm for early-o-clock, I thought “Oh, but I have this blister, hmmm, I probably shouldn’t bother getting up….I hear a lot of sleep is great for blisters…” But I got up, didn’t even bother with a band-aid since I was thinking I’d just take it really easy, and walked out the door into the already sweltering summer air. It was the last thing in the world I wanted to do. I winced as I walked, cursing the minute I decided that this was an okay idea. Each left-step delivered a little jab of sharp pain. “Stupid, stupid, stupid….” I thought to myself. But as I gave the pavement some good wallops as I rounded the corner of Murphy and 46th and walked into the warm morning sun, the endorphins began to rush, the perfect song with the perfect cadence came on (Coldplay’s “Everything’s Not Lost”), and the pain lessened with each step. No, I take that back — the pain didn’t magically lessen, I just considered it less. It lost its inflicting power. I just had to put one…foot…in…front…of…the…other, and begin to set my eyes instead on all of the goodness happening around me.
As I walked back up my quiet, still-partly-shaded little dead end street, now limping a bit, I thought of how beautifully that experience parallels with the daily emotional mud I’ve been plodding through lately. I often wonder “Come on, God!! Really?! When will it be enough? When will you teach me what I am apparently supposed to pick up on? What am I not doing right? How much more broken do I need to become? Am I not teachable or open? I certainly feel open…” When I don’t feel like it, when all that greets me, repeatedly, is pain and heartbreak, I still must open the door and drag myself on through. I am compelled by something other than my self, most certainly, because my self is tired and content to settle my flabby ass into the air-conditioned padded cell of uninspired life. My self needs the Lord’s guidance, even though I am fully aware that he’s going to take me through some thorny patches. These have been uncomfortable, incomprehensible, and barely bearable as of late. As I walk where he leads me in recent days, I am muttering “Ouch. this hurts. I don’t want any more of this. No more lessons for now, please-and-thank-you. Ouch. Ouch!” I need a recuperation period. I need some space and time where only good things happen. I need some balance. My poor, dirty feet.
Because I am his child and because I know he is still good and true, I follow. I follow, but I’m slow in keeping up, and it still hurts.